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Special Report With Bret Baier

News/Business. Bret Baier. The latest news from inside the Beltway.

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U.s. 6, Us 3, Jennifer Griffin 2, Clinton 2, Bush 2, Martinez 2, Steve Brown 2, Juan 1, Juan Williams 1, Rosen 1, Rahm Emanuel 1, Steny Hoyer 1, David Axelrod 1, Martina 1, Francis Townsend 1, The American Civil Liberties Union 1, Cia Operative 1, Aclu 1, Pentagon 1, Fox News 1,
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  FOX News    Special Report With Bret Baier    News/Business. Bret Baier. The  
   latest news from inside the Beltway.  

    August 22, 2009
    4:00 - 5:00am EDT  

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bret: if tom ridge was hoping to generate buzz about his upcoming book, mission accomplished. the publisher released a summary saying he was pressured to change the terror threat level for political purposes, a change that is drawing enthusiastic rebuttals. mike emanuel has the story. >> as osama bin laden warned in a videotape that blood would run through the streets of america, tom ridge claims in a new book that he was pressured to raise the color-code threat level on the eve of the 2004 election, but he refused. he wrote, "there is absolutely
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no support for that position within our department. i wondered, is this about security or politics?" this was perceived as a move that would help then-president bush. francis townsend flatly deny that. >> not only do not think it played politics, it was never discussed. >> for the region >> there was concern that if intelligent supported raising the threat -- the threat level, it might be to the detriment of president bush because people might perceive it being political. >> rich's language does not appear definitive. the allegations in clear, that donald rahm spelled -- rumsfeld wanted to use the color-coded threats system for political gain. in reference to the advice to
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americans to cover their homes in saran wrap secured by duct tape in the event of a biochemical attack, former justice department official said -- rich himself contradicts his own claim that he had been pressured, riding -- apparently, the white house did not call. elsewhere, he wrote that he was never directed to raise the tariff threat level "no matter how many analysts, pundits, or critics say so." bret: president obama today called the recession -- called the release of the pan am 103 bummer highly objectionable. his press secretary of -- described video of his welcome as offensive to those who lost loved ones on the flight, which was blown out of the sky over
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lockerbie, scotland, in 1988. he was freed because he has terminal prostate cancer. libyan authorities are keeping him out of sight to avoid hurting what was their steadily improving relationship with the u.s. the justice department is looking into whether military defense lawyers illegally give suspected terrorists information about alleged cia interrogators. national security correspondent jennifer griffin report. >> shortly after a 9/11 planner was snapped, he ended up in a secret cia detention facility. his court was also arrested lee pakistan and was taken to receive a prison house that this airport in poland. the man who interrogated them at that time as a retired cia operative. his picture we have decided not to wear. we have learned he is the subject of some of the 45
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photographs that military defense attorneys allegedly showed it to accuse the al qaeda leaders at guantanamo bay in an effort to determine if he had engaged in harsh interrogation techniques. the justice department is now investigating whether three military defense attorneys broke the law by showing those photos, thus exposing the identity of covert cia operatives. martina's's identity was first revealed by "the new york times" despite strong protests. the american civil liberties union argued this inquiry is designed to divert public attention from allegations the cia torture detainees. martinez was named again last
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week in the article that also showed photos of others whom the cia reportedly hired to carry out interrogation. martinez was technically not a covert agent when his name was published. the aclu used the information and took photos of him outside his house, which were then shown to the detainees. the question is, were any laws broken? at the pentagon, jennifer griffin. bret: if you think it is easy to get a piece of stimulus money, we will show you what hoops you have to jump through. you might think people in the u.s. are going overboard about u.s. are going overboard about the h1n1
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bret: now, fresh pickings from
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the political grapevine. president obama told the national council of churches that people who say abortion funding will be in legislation are bearing false witness and that "these are all fabrications that have been put out there to discourage people from meeting what i consider to be a core ethical and moral obligation." won high church official says the president is the one doing the fabricating. the philadelphia archbishop wrote a letter to the house of representatives saying, "some will claim that federal funds do not support abortion under the house bill. this is an illusion. a federal funds will subsidize the operating budget and provider network that expand access to abortions." the president said that there are no plans to revoke the existing prohibitions on using taxpayer dollars for abortions. republicans are accusing democrats of playing politics with the mail. democrats on the house
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commission have block republicans from using political terms such as "cat and tax" when describing climate change led to -- "cap and tax" when describing climate change. one republican even found that the exact partisan line which the commission rejected for a gop mailing had been approved three years earlier for nancy pelosi. the commission staffer explained that the pelosi newsletter back then had been approved in error and the gop mailings were denied because they did not comply with the longstanding rules. a texas republican calls it censorship. bret: finally, it seems hillary clinton cannot catch a break. earlier this month, it appeared she was being upstaged by her husband, former president bill clinton, as he took the spotlight traveling to north
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korea and returning with two american journalists. analysts guessed that that, plus a tiresome travel schedule, contributed to secretary clinton becoming visibly irritated when a university student at a town hall of and asked what her husband thought of an international financial matter. it seems another bill is causing problems and stealing part of her vacation. the former president and secretary of state traveled to berlin of for a getaway and now hurricane bill is pelting the island with heavy winds and rains that have forced the clintons to cut their vacation short. charlie cook has a chilling forecast for democrats. he says in a special update to his newsletter that democrats could lose more than 20 seats in next year's congressional elections. he writes -- bret: the health care reform debate is factoring in to many
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reelection bids and one ohio congressman is feeling the heat from constituents. steve brown reports on the effort to make an impression. >> summer is winding down. time for one more ride at the fair. one more shot at winning a blue dog. one more signature and that the blue dog. >> we're getting a petition. >> two congressmen helped broker the deal on the controversial 1000-page house reform bill. >> i was so oppressed with the intellectual curiosity. >> this is an american citizen issue. >> they will not meet with us. >> there is a large
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congressional district geographically. >> driving the 16 counties from and to and take four hours. a lot of the district as rural. space has been dialing it, holding a telephone town hall. >> we did one last night at 7800 people were on the phone, asking questions, listening to my responses, not screaming. >> during the web cast thursday with a newspaper, he said he is steering clear of large, temper- prone public forums. >> that is not my style. if that is what you want from me, you are not going to get it. >> that is not satisfactory to some constituents. this group showed up to again ask him for a town hall. instead, he spoke with them at length on how health care reform is necessary so long as the price is right. >> we do not know how we will pay for this bill. >> at a fund-raiser wednesday,
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protesters at it this and invited contributors. >> this was announced to many people. >> space's remote approach will likely continue. he won reelection to this district by a whopping 20 percentage point. those leery of government health care reform are ready to take game on their man in congress. >> we put him in the job and we are the ones who can taken out. >> steve brown, fox news. bret: one thing all government programs have in common is paperwork. lots of it. to tell you how big a burden that can be as only he can, here is james rosen. >> cash for clunkers, a successful program with tons of paper work. we came to a dealership to check it out. let's go do some paperwork.
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come on. i mean, come on. this is a large stack of paper. >> this right here is a disposal certification form. >> there are procedures on how to disable the car. >> we had one rejected. >> the automobile business is a tough business. >> it is a tough business. >> executives say each car treated in lancelets more than two dozen forms on them to fill out. >> how do you get through your days with the sheer boredom? ♪ >> hey. >> let's go. they're waiting for you. >> this is where automobiles go to die.
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everything must go. come on down. we are overloaded. every car has somebody's name on it. everybody falls in love some time. that is amore. the first step is getting the crucial for sloan. they get to that fight in place, the small business administration. bridget is the director of the washington metropolitan area office. >> you do not allow more people work than you would for any conventional loan. 4506t is a document or spine. how much money do you have on hand? >> this is a statement of personal history. do i have to talk about my high school prom? >> we hope you do not. it is a loan of up to $35,000 to help small businesses.
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>> ok. goldilocks, this is poppa bear. i get to sit behind the desk and your the small-business owner. i have prepared a series of paperwork forms for you to fill out. >> i had better get started. >> i think so. bret: new budget projection numbers might add more problems to the president as he triesexta
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bret: looking live at the white house, it is a friday afternoon in august. the president has just left for vacation, and the white house has told us late this afternoon that the administration expects the federal deficit to be $2 trillion, bigger than previously estimated. now, you see the old estimate,
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$7 trillion, and now the new estimate is $9 trillion. the news coming late in the afternoon, and, of course, coming as the administration and the president continue to push health-care reform, and the cost of that factoring in a senior writer for "the weekly standard," syndicated columnist charles krauthammer, and juan williams join us. this one was a big one. it is tough to get your arms around $2 trillion more. it is 2000 billion more. >> that is why the word trillion ought to be abolished. it does not have the gravid tass, the enormity, of the numbers of zeros that underlie it -- it does not have the grappa tossed -- gravitas. they are estimating that the annual deficit will be $900 million, every year.
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that is unsustainable. that will destroy the dollar, and the only way that kind of debt is paid off is not in taxes. it is in inflation, and everyone will see it coming. this is a crisis in and of itself, and one of the reasons health care is in trouble -- there are a lot of reasons, but americans understand that when you are looking at deficits which are for other causes, and adding $1 trillion or $1.60 trillion, as the cbo has estimated, and adding that onto it gratuitously is insane. if there are any increases in taxes that you're going to use within health care, those increases in taxes ought to be to the existing debt, which will destroy the economy. bret: juan, we talked about the health care debate and other debatees, but also for buyers of u.s. debt, this creates a lot
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of anxiety. >> yes, the chinese. it puts pressure on the u.s. economy, and, of course, the economy has not been producing. revenues have not been coming in at rates that were predicted by the white house. this also comes as a smack in the face to the white house where the press was pointing out earlier this week that they thought the deficit was going to be swallowed. why? because some of the money that they used for bank recovery effort is no longer deemed to be necessary, he said they are not going to have to use that money, and they thought that was good news, and this brought them back on their heels, and it brought them back -- this rocks them back on their heels, and it rocks them back on their heels in a big way. once you start to engage inflation, as charles was saying, then you put the federal reserve in the position of having to take steps to put
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the brakes on the economy, and that could plunge us back down into another recession. i think, overall, we have been having a conversation about the economy even though we are labeling it as a conversation about health care, and americans are anxious about what could be coming. bret: and, steve, we look at the recent polls, and the deficit has increased as far as a concern for americans across the country. how big of a deal is this? >> they really, really big deal. this should be the moral a to health care. this should end the debate to health care, as far as i am concerned. you can talk about dealing with insurance, tinkering with it -- the public option. this should end it. is it really should read this is a big enough deal, and i think you have the 80 blue dogs who have been nervous about the public option now going back to their constituents and having to
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explain this kind of additional spending, as charles point out, $1.60 trillion more, certainly, and in the face of this kind of news, i think it is a huge problem, but i think this does bring up taxes. i think we are going to talk about three issues in the fall. guantánamo, afghanistan, and health care, and i think we will soon see a much broader and more vigorous discussion about taxes, about how you can tax americans and generate revenues without violating his campaign promises, he and i do not think he can do it. bret: they were talking about not being able to get a health- care plan out of the house without the public option, and today, steny hoyer said in a conference call that the public option may have to go in order to get the bill passed. this is the number one and number two democrat in the house of representatives. >> this is a ritual dance.
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the democrats understand if they kill the public option openly and completely, they will make less needless trouble right now. all of the intimations that it is preferred, that it is important, that we want to keep it is a way to douse the rebellion on the left, but in the end, they all understand you can pass it without a public option, because in the end, the bluff on the left to vote against is only a bluff. they are not going to destroy the health-care reform and the president at the same time over that one issue. the issue is dead, but they cannot admit it. >> i agree that they cannot destroy the health-care option, because, essentially, that is to destroy the obama presidency. coming from david axelrod and rahm emanuel and others, you guys have to understand. you are tied into this president, and to distance yourself is suicidal. i think there are many americans
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that agree we have to reform health care, and i disagree that it is dead, but it is so anxiety provoking that people are not going to listen. this month of august has been deadly to him. bret: up next, the release of a
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bret: finally tonight, we have talked about the problems the obama administration has had getting health-reform passed. >> the president has said, uh, uh, uh, uh -- [laughter] uh, uh, uh, and i, uh, it has been very constructive, and, we, uh, uh, -- in my current pursuits. bret: that is it for "special report" this time, the only report" this time, the only place where